Peryton and I had no real drama getting everything ready for Con on the Cob. Peryton's game was already printed in the Peryton RPG Lite edition, though she was making some notes to spice up my quick intro adventure. My three projects, "What Price Liberty?" for POW!, my Super-Powered RPG stuff coming to form, "The Bubble Pits," for T&T, and "The Return to Sihlt-Awash," a Ruincrawl for TAG, were basically finished the weekend before because of a couple of slow work nights. In fact the biggest problem we had was that LostArt, Brian the Map-Guy, called a day before the start of the convention to let us know he wouldn't be attending because of relationship demands or dissolution or what have you. And since he was supposed to open the Peryton Publishing table on Thursday, we decided to save the gas and hassle and just show up on Friday, when our games were to start.
Friday went wonderful, though our first time selling our products to real life people was a little intimidating. The eponymous Andy Hopp stopped what he was doing when he saw us come in to get us registered and give us the tour of the event. After dropping off our bags in the room, we set up the table assigned to us, and both Peryton and I just sort of smiled at the irony of the situation. For all my ease with people, I really feel uncomfortable doing sales pitches. And Peryton for all of her love of seeing her stuff get sold, is rather shy and retiring. Still the neighbors two artists whom we met the year before, and the Wandering Men (www.wanderingmen.com) were hip and happening enough to keep us in good company. I ran my POW! event to what felt like a horde of 10 thru 12 year-old kids, though there were no more than four to six at any given time at the table. While the scenario fell to the way-side, there was a lot of rules testing, and a rather Socratic discussion as to what defines what a super-hero as compared to a super-villain. Tadpole and X-Man, would become my buddies throughout the next couple of days as they helped me grasp something about "lethal vs. non-lethal" combat that I think will help POW! out . AND the kids' parents would have been happy to see the math quizzes taking place. At about six PM, Peryton and I closed up the booth, leaving only flyers and jealous neighbors, to go play a beginning level D&D (3.5) scenario with a great guy who I'll call "Rook" from here on.
After the long day of gaming and hawking our items to the poor, unexpecting masses, we ended up having dinner with Rook at a chain Italian place, that really surprised me as to how great the food and atmosphere the food was. Walking back to the hotel, we discussed Monty Python and college age gaming habits, all while playing "avoid the drunk driver" on the very busy state route between the restaurants and hotel areas. Bidding Rook adieu until the morn, we returned to our room to see the phone flashing. And after ten minutes of pressing buttons and scratching our heads, we were unable to make it stop. Peryton deemed the flashing either a broken phone or a night light. I didn't buy either explanation, but I frankly had been awake over a couple of days and wasn't all that concerned. So I started napping as Peryton checked her email accounts. Mandy-B and Steppenwulf had shown up and shot us an email with the message announcing their arrival and shooting us a phone number. I was really too tired to do much more than grumble into Peryton's Phone to Mandy's voice mail that we got the email and give them our number.
Four Am came quickly, but I was feeling as "slept out" as I could. Unable to sleep, so I decided to print up characters for my TAG adventure and up-date the PC's for the T&T game coming up at 8:30 AM. I didn't know that I'd be distracted in these tasks. The late night crowd was still going strong. Some were drunk, and I was envious, as I was on the productive side of activity cycle, but a few were just like me, awake for the day. I even had to wait to get to the printer in the hotel's "business center." Quite alright though, I met Lo, Aym, and Josh playing Munchkin, which I discovered was indeed a game not a d20 supplement series. Josh had been running QAG's (Quick-Ass Game system) Space Jocks, so him and I had a lot to compare notes on. I also found out that he was one of my T&T players in the upcoming morning event. I smiling let him know it was okay if he didn't show up, for some obvious reasons, and we promised to run a pick-up game probably on Sunday. Lo was from southern England, we talked about the EU and German property laws before Aym finally declared we were being too boring for even her drunken state, which prompted the couple to retire for the evening..., err duration.
Mandy-B and Steppenwulf were earlier than I was for "the Bubble Pits" session. And Ziggy showed up about 20 minutes later, and refused to to take a nap, though he had worked last night, for a chance to get in some good, "serious" T&T. Then X-Man started popping his head in, which of course demanded that I let him the game, or be forever distracted by his questions. In any case, despite me being distracted by the energetic youth and math, the session was running pretty well. Mandy-B developed some keen in-sights into her character, Silva Slyslip, a hobb who was a kleptomaniac, working in the short man, as well as a Don Juan, complexes, while ironically enough Ziggy played the dainty elf maiden who was the target of all of the amorous advances of the short rogue. Peryton had apparently crawled out of bed sometime and announced her pressence to the world, at least our gaming table, and slinked off to peddle wares at our sales table. The game went over time, but no one was pressing for the table so we rolled on. Ziggy started helping me with the ever energetic X-Man so I was able to concentrate on the final few encounters, which I felt were handled a bit rushed, but the "visuals" were enough to satisfy my demand for high fantasy narrative.
After the game, we closed the sales table for lunch, gathering up Peryton in the process. Amazingly enough, we had sold some items. Ziggy refused to let us walk once again across the still busy state route, so the five of us piled into his medium-sized SUV. We spent the early afternoon catching up with each other and even talking about the Troll Hoot this year. Mandy-B refused to let me pick another location for this year, and I can't say I blame her either considering the "ambiance" of last year's event. Steppenwulf revealed that he had found a syringe in the parking lot the next day. "Funny I didn't know that the neighbors were diabetic, I thought they were drinking and partying...(grim smile)."
In the early evening, Peryton went to run the Peryton game, while I sat on the sales table. Sure enough, we sold even more stuff. I did a quick inventory and we had only about a third of stuff that we had come with. And that was with me checking out the scores for the Bundesliga, MLS, and English Premier soccer games of the day, as well as, catching up with CoC-Tony, from last year's CoCob, and while getting to know Jim from TC-GC game forums while sipping our dusk time beer. Tadpole from the POW! game the day before came over and helped me run the table even before he had to slip off to do his homework for next week's school. Peryton's game ran over into my TAG slot, and the same players of her game were signed up for mine, so I was more than happy to let Peryton shine through my session.
Closing up shop for the day, we, including Peryton, Mandy-B, Steppenwulf, and Rook, would try and get in on Tony's next CoC game, but of course it was already full. We blathered for a minute or ten looking around, Peryton wryly told me that I had spoiled Ziggy to D&D with that T&T stuff. Still in the mood for a game, we jumped in Pieramyd Games' Doom-Meets-Resident Evil prototype setting where we role-played out being doomed and a bit of fratricide with grenades (my bad, sorry). Ziggy popped in once in a while to let us know that he had found the Savage World's room meet and drink...err greet, and the Barfleet dance floor, and the "Mock Music" concert in the lounge, and the Guitar Hero buffet, and the..., I am sure you get the picture.
At midnight, the game wrapped up. And just in time to. Everyone was dead tired, as well as on our third beverage in as many hours. Ziggy decided he was going to drive home, so he started on water and dancing. Mandy-B and Steppenwulf, and Peryton and I bid adieu once again until the next occasion. Rook had taken his leave a couple of hours before. I made Peryton make a token effort to check out the room parties and the lounge as well, but even I was getting a little tired. We picked up our Barfleet cup though never actually partook in the endless beverage, while the "ship's captain" and I discussed his regulation Bar Fleet bathrobe, and he gave me some pointers for my own next year. We wandered around and were 'Huzzah'ed" when we entered the debauchery that is Savage Worlds' room party. I think I saw Larry Elmore giving pointers on drinking jello shots, completely sober and not drinking himself, but I might have been hallucinating. I closed our bar tab in the jam-packed lounge and listened to someone being lewd as well as discussing Enterprise's Dr. Phlox in his "rhapsodic" song, the bar-tender slipped a free pot of coffee on for us while tabbing. Even with the coffee, Peryton and were back in our room before half past one. Ziggy called and let us know that he was sober enough to head home, and was doing so. I settled in to hopefully sleep in.
Though the breakfast wasn't complimentary, there wasn't much else to do at six thirty in the AM, except eat and read the Sunday paper. Just before I went to wake up Peryton three hours later, I was in a conversation with Gary, the Pirate. Let me just say, that while a little bit of pirate goes a long way, the pirates of CoCob were in their element at this event. Gary himself had discarded his full uniform from the evening before, and was wearing his morning attire. I felt like I was speaking with Thomas Payne or Jean Lette' or some such. Both of us are "party late, wake up early" sorts so we had some stories to swap. Peryton packed the car after getting ready, unbeknowest to me as I was sitting at the table. No sales but we did find some items to buy ourselves. Josh from QAG came by and was really up for a T&T session, but his friends and I weren't really. So we swapped emails and phone numbers with promises of invites and road trips over the next year to have a few sessions.
With the Josh thread tied off, Peryton and I decided it was time to go. It took about ten minutes to repack my computer, fill up only one small bag of the unsold items, and gather our own purchases together and we slipped off. Didn't find Andy to say good-bye, but our neighboring tables gave us a pleasant round "see you next year" send-offs. Then we were on the road. On the road, coming home in less than an hour's drive from a weekend of serious gaming, a bit of selling, all hours socializing, and we didn't have to walk over a half mile the whole time, nor even step outside if we didn't want to. I feel a little lazy compared to the stamina and activity required to do GenCon, but I have to admit, but this con was just right to this bear.